Did you know that more than 635 days have passed since the last season of Strange things fell on Netflix?
That’s how it is! Season 3 of the hit drama set in the ’80s premiered on July 4, 2019 and since then we have endured almost two attempts without a problem with Hawkins in our lives. We are desperate, exhausted and, to paraphrase Dustin, “We are on a curiosity trip and we need our paddles to travel.”
Fortunately, ET was able to catch up with Star Gaten matarazzo during a virtual interview to promote season 2 of his hilarious hidden camera series, Prank Encounters, and the 18-year-old actor spilled much-needed information about Strange things‘highly anticipated fourth season.
Read on for the “mature” episodes that follow, if the Duffer brothers currently have any endgame plans for the series, and Matarazzo’s epic ideas for a Strange things spin-off starring Dustin and Steve. Also, if you thought that the Prank Encounters the host would be the one performing the stunts on set, you are wrong, and you won’t believe which one Strange things the stars are the true pranksters on set!
ET: I need you to give us some kind of information about season 4. What can you tell me?
Gaten Matarazzo: I give you one. I’ll tell you what I can: we are doing it. That is sure. I am very excited about that. I’m not right now, I’m actually at home in NJ right now, so I’m not working on the show right now, but there are little increments here and there. We can go in and film. It’s very difficult with COVID, and it’s a great production, and we shoot a lot of our stuff in great locations, outside with a lot of people involved. There are many steps and many steps that need to be taken before we can think of consistently starting filming. However, I hope that a large part will emerge soon. In fact, I just finished reading the entire season.
What was your reaction
I am quite excited! [Laughs]
How would you describe the tone of this season? Do you feel like they are intensifying it?
I think we have to. I think the goal for the boys, for Matt and Ross [Duffer]What we need to do is make sure the bar is raised each season, but not raised too high to a point where we cannot exceed or match what we have done before. And they are ambitious. They are hungry boys. They know what their show is, they know what people like. They know what they want and they will get it too. This is a day working with them, it really is incredible.
When it comes to the tone of the season, I definitely think the tone has definitely matured, and I think they do it on purpose because I think they want their show to mature with their children. As we age as people, we have to age as characters. They face this problem but accept it and use it to their advantage. And they don’t get scared when we get taller or when we lower our voice or anything like that. They use it and use it as ammunition for their writing. It’s amazing what they can do. Working with them is simply exceptional. Always has been.
You’ve read Season 4. Have the Duffer Brothers told you Dustin’s general fate? Do you know how the show is supposed to end?
Oh! Here’s the thing: I heard from them that they have a pretty good idea of where they want to end the show. And I think they have a completely clear outline for how they want their show to end. But the good thing about them is that although they have their conclusion and although they have an idea of how they want this to end, they are very interested in letting it be heard by ear. Especially for, and this is very clear in season 2, when we were filming, we were already filming most of the show before we had read the second half. We didn’t know much about it.
With Steve and I partnering, that was a bit by accident, that was one of the fan favorites for sure. But that was some kind of accident. That was kind of like, there were two characters that needed to go to the same place and they were going through pretty similar dilemmas at the time. They were both dealing with girl issues and they were basically looking at each other and they were like, okay, they might as well. And then they become best friends and let it develop. And that wouldn’t have happened, that was clear for the rest of Season 2. And even being paired up in the middle of that season was a complete accident.
So they are fine letting the path they have created drift in different directions as long as it continues in the intended direction. But it’s really cool to see a process unfold that way.
We hear that the finale could take place after season 5. Any thoughts?
That’s the end of what?
That the ending could take place after season 5? I don’t know about numbers. That’s the whole business aspect of it. That’s all that I don’t like to worry too much about. If you want a season 5, I’m sure I’ll do a season 5. I love this show, I love the people. I don’t even know. I don’t know if they know exactly when they want to finish it. I think they know how they want to end it. I think they know where they want their characters to be. I think the question is that they will just figure it out, play it by ear, and find out what will happen as they write.
You seem to be on board this ‘Endless Story’, Gaten.
Oh man. I do not know. Maybe we can do as a spin-off in which only all our children are. [Laughs]
There have been rumors of spin-offs! Would you ever want to do a Dustin-Steve spinoff?
I think a Dustin-Steve spinoff would be nice if it was in a weird niche format. Like, they didn’t do a full demo of that.
As a WandaVision?
Yes, as a WandaVision kind of thing or like a kind of web series thing where on YouTube, there are weekly episodes of little shenanigans that they get into, like from time to time, like a parody show. That would be great. Somehow you break that format.
Dustin and Steve go to the mall …
I don’t know if a spinoff of the full Dustin and Steve series is sustainable. What are they going to do for a whole season, just them?
Go to different places?
Yes. Just them traveling the world together.
Road trip: with Dustin and Steve.
I like! [Laughs]
We love the fact that we got to see Dusty-Bun and Susie-Poo sing for us in season 3. Gaten, how many people are asking you to sing that song now, and could we expect more to sing in season 4?
[Laughs] It is a considerable number of people. It’s a considerable amount of times that I’ve had to listen to that song. I think completely, correct me if I’m wrong on this, but I think our version of “NeverEnding Story” ended up becoming a bigger download on Spotify or Apple Music than the original at its peak. I actually walked down the street and heard people listening to that version of the song in their cars and I was like, oh god, it’s not. And I had to tilt it a little more. I’m like, yeah that’s me. That is all. It’s on the soundtrack. It’s literally on the season 3 album. It’s pretty epic.
It’s pretty epic! Would you sing again in season 4?
Might? If they wanted me to. I really don’t have many complaints. I really don’t have a lot of demands with what I can and can’t do. If you want me to do something, there is very little that prevents me from doing it.
You have your own hidden camera prank show on Netflix called Prank Encounters, so we have to know: Did you already make a joke on the set of Strange things? You guys have long days on set.
Oh no. Yes, we have pretty long days, so things are sure to get tempting. In fact, I have to say that when it comes to pranksters on set, Millie and Noah take the cake. Surprisingly! As a team, you bring them together and there is nothing to stop you. Seriously. [Laughs]
Have you been a victim?
Have I been a victim? Not to them. I have been a victim of them separately, not of them collectively as a group, thank God.
They have done?
They have done some crazy things! Usually it is the phone. It usually involves calling someone and saying something to them. I remember someone in our production would soon get married at that time. She was obviously very excited. And I think Millie and Noah called her on her cell phone from an unknown number, from a joke number, and they convinced her that Noah was Brian from the wedding venue, and that there was a crazy accident and they weren’t going to be able to. to celebrate your wedding on the spot. And their wedding was in two weeks. Their wedding was like two weeks from now. And she, of course, was going crazy. I think they also left it hanging there for a couple of hours. If I’m wrong, I wasn’t there for this.
You can stream season 2 of Prank Encounters Thursday, April 1 on Netflix.